FHS Seminar Series - Influenza immunization in pregnancy and perinatal health outcomes: challenges and controversies in observational studies

by Dr. Jennifer Hutcheon is a perinatal epidemiologist and Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of British Columbia

January 18, 2018

Event Type

Seminar Series


January 18, 2018 at 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


Blusson Hall, Room 9920


Many public health agencies recommend that pregnant women be immunized against influenza. In addition to preventing maternal influenza illness during pregnancy, maternal immunization has been shown to protect newborns from influenza disease in early life when they are ineligible for vaccination.

A growing number of observational studies have investigated if maternal influenza immunization can also reduce the risk of pregnancy complications such as stillbirth or preterm birth. Such studies have direct implications for global maternal and child health policies: reductions in perinatal morbidity associated with influenza immunization could establish the cost-effectiveness of maternal immunization platforms in low-resource settings.

The main objective of this seminar is to discuss current controversies and challenges in observational studies of birth outcomes following influenza immunization in pregnancy. While observational studies play an important role in the ongoing assessment of immunization effectiveness, they also pose numerous conceptual and methodological challenges that can introduce serious bias. The implications of these biases for global health policies will be discussed.


Dr. Jennifer Hutcheon is a perinatal epidemiologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Her research uses large population databases and registries to improve our understanding of maternal and infant health. Her research interests include fetal growth restriction, hypertension in pregnancy, and perinatal research methods. Her work is supported by a CIHR New Investigator Award and operating grants from the NIH and CIHR. She received her PhD in Epidemiology & Biostatistics from McGill University in 2009.


* This Seminar Series is open to the SFU Research Community.  

* This seminar was recorded and can viewed here by the FHS Research Community.

*  A light lunch will be available at this seminar.  

* The FHS Research Seminar Series is an Accredited Small Group Learning by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.